Danielle Dominates  - 

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Round of 32 – Jessica Pegula (USA) def. Amanda Anisimova (USA) 3-6 6-4 7-6 (3))

THE MODERATOR: Jess, congratulations a very hard-fought victory today. Can you just talk about how you were able to overcome that first set loss and win the match?

JESSICA PEGULA: Yeah. It’s always tough, one, playing Amanda, because she is just a really great ball striker, and she can really take the racquet out of your hands. So you know when she’s hot, it’s really tough. So I was like, oh, I wonder how she’s going to start, and she started off really well. I was like, crap, this is going to be tough.

So I just kind of had to buckle down, and I think I started being a little bit more active with my feet and pressuring her a little bit more and being able to move her and kind of scrap out a few points as well. So, yeah, I just kind of found a way today, but it was a really great match, I thought, especially the last set was super high level.

Q. It seemed like you were pushing her into the forehand, drawing some errors off the forehand side. Were you focused on that?

JESSICA PEGULA: Yeah. You don’t want to go to her backhand. Her backhand is money. I always say I think she has the best backhand on tour, at least when everyone asks me like which shot would you pick from each player, I usually say her backhand.

I don’t really want to go there much. It’s riskier, I think, going there, although she can hit her forehand really well, which I thought she did at the end of the third. She hit some really good down-the-line winners, which I wasn’t expecting. But she made those. So, yeah, I definitely wanted to move her a little bit more into her forehand, when you can, because it’s tough with her to kind of feel like you can move the ball.

Q. (Indiscernible).

JESSICA PEGULA: Yeah. I mean, I think you don’t want to let her kind of get set up and hit her shots. When she’s set up, it’s really tough and she hits one of the cleanest balls out there and can really overpower you. So you definitely want to try and keep her moving as much as possible.

Q. What was kind of the key? Great jobs by both of you, and then obviously the tiebreaker.

JESSICA PEGULA: I mean, to me, I just wanted to focus on my serve. I wanted to focus on holding and then just trying to be active and aggressive when I could on the returns.

As we kept playing, it seemed like the balls and everything got a lot heavier because we didn’t change balls. Then going into the tiebreak, it was a little bit different, and I think you’re maybe trying to scrape out a few ugly points sometimes because you’re not getting a lot of free points with the ball.
So I think during the tiebreak, it was just trying to not get upset, not get too negative if something went wrong. I just kind of played every single point. But I think for me, especially with how well she returns, I really wanted to focus on my serve, especially in the third, and not let her get too many chances, which I did a good job of.

Q. Jessica, I hope you don’t mind. I watched you hit with a young man this afternoon before your match. He’s from Charleston?

JESSICA PEGULA: Sawyer, I think.

Q. Yes. I wanted to see how he did and how — what you need out of those sessions before you play from those young men.

JESSICA PEGULA: Well, first of all, all of them have been super sweet and super kind and very, what’s the word, I guess, like southern gentlemen, I would say. Very respectful. So that’s been really great. They’ve all been really excited, I feel like, to practice. And, yeah, he was great. I mean, really I’m just warming up, trying to get a rhythm a little bit, feel the ball, move the ball around. So, yeah, he did a great job, and I think it’s tough when you’re a hitter trying to warm someone up, especially someone about to go play. You want to make sure you do a good job. So I’m sure that’s a little nerve wracking for them having to do that, but I think they’ve all been hitting for a little bit now, so I think maybe the nerves have kind of worn off, but he did a good job.

2024 Charleston Open Jessica Pegula
Players in this article